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Personal Independence Payment: Blackpool

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 220795, tabled on 13 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of waiting times for personal independence payment appeals on the wellbeing of claimants in Blackpool.

Answered on

18 February 2019

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and DWP are very sensitive to the needs of people who may be affected by waiting times for tribunal hearings. Tribunal staff and judicial office-holders are trained accordingly, with HMCTS’ reasonable adjustments policy and practice applied where appropriate. Guidance on the policy is published on GOV.UK. If an expedited hearing is sought, or where the tribunal identifies a case which might benefit from an expedited hearing, a judge or caseworker will make a decision on the issue, taking all the circumstances of the case into account.

HMCTS is appointing additional judges and panel members and generally taking forward initiatives with the potential to increase the capacity and performance of the tribunal, including listing more Personal Independence Payment appeals into each session. In the North West specifically, closer case management of cases ready to list has allowed many cases to be dealt with in advance of a hearing.

Furthermore, DWP is reviewing its decision making and Mandatory Reconsideration processes with a view to reducing the number of appeals that need to be made. It is also working closely with HMCTS as it develops a new digital system which will enable speedier processing of appeals.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.